Fitness 101: The why’s and how’s of getting started

Fitness. What does it mean to you and your life?

Improving your quality of life is what it’s all about. For some, fitness comes more naturally and for others, well maybe not… The fact of the matter is that no matter where you are on the scale, incorporating some fitness in your life does make a life-changing difference. So how do you start when you’ve been in a steadfast routine for years? Do you really need to change this?

What does fitness really mean?

Fitness in modern days can be seen as many different things. Either fitness means being a health nut that smashes the gym, or jogging 10km per day, every day. Fitness is actually described as a state of being fit and healthy. So it’s a much broader term than we give it credit.

Fitness means actively doing exercise to improve your physical welfare. So this can be yoga, stretching, boxing, walking… the whole shebang!

Tips to get you going

#1 Start slow but jump right in

Obviously you want to make this a pleasurable experience so that you will want to do it again. You’ll find no joy in jumping into a 60-minute spinning class if you haven’t been doing much lately.

Start off with 15-minutes of stretching or yoga 3x per week, and 15-minute power workouts 2x per week. Power workouts include things like crunches, squats, jogging, cycling, etc. Anything that gives you a sense of fatigue or soreness when you are done. Do this for 1 to 3 weeks, depending on what’s comfortable for your body. Challenge yourself but trust that you can feel what’s good for your body and what’s not.

Why only this? You lower your risk of injury and build a strong foundation. Conditioning your body before you really get those muscles working is always a good idea. Plus, you are building a habit and getting into a routine of exercising frequently.

#2 Consistency is key

After you’ve conditioned your body a little for a week or more, you need to up your game. Swap it around and do your power workouts 3x per week and stretching 2x per week. You can even increase your exercise time if you have the time.

#3 Do you

Choose to do exercises that appeal to you or that you’ve always wanted to try. If you know you’re a water baby, then try swimming. If you like riding a bike, then go cycle. You get the idea.

If you keep doing exercise you truly hate, you’ll be more likely to put it off on days where the effort levels come into question. Rather do exercises that you like doing and can see yourself doing in the long run.

If no exercise appeals to you, then I suggest looking into yoga. It’s really the perfect all-rounder for all ages and you don’t need hours of training to feel the difference. Plus, there are many free yoga classes on youtube.

#4 Notice your intake habits

I’m not saying you should dive right into some diet you found online or buy all the supplements… Just start noticing how much water you drink and what types of food you eat on a regular basis. This includes substance intake as well as extra vitamin intake.

Noticing your intake habits is just a way for you to be able to find what makes your body feel good and what doesn’t. When you start to see the patterns, you’ll know how to adjust according to your energy levels, mood, and general behavior.

A simple example is like noticing you are a snacker. If you think what you are snacking on can be healthier, then start to snack more on apples. It gives your body the same satisfaction but has a lot more nutritional benefits than snacking on a pack on crisps.

#5 The time is yours

There are 2 things I mean when I say that the time is yours. Firstly, you don’t need an hour a day to reap the benefits. The time you can spend is all you need. Secondly, the time you spend training is meant for you and not for worrying about the rest of your day.

Most of us can make 15 minutes available in a day, but not an hour. Believe it or not, 10 to 20 minutes a day can make a difference in your physical welfare. Waking up half an hour earlier to stretch yourself out for the day ahead or taking a short 10-minute walk in your lunch break is enough to get the blood flowing again and has been proven to decrease stress and improve general mood.

Are you able to shut down your busy thoughts when you exercise? Most types of exercise require focus, so it’s not hard to forget about the rest of the day for the time being. But what if you want to walk or stretch? You need to train yourself to focus on what you are currently doing. Focus will make than 10 or 15-minute workouts a lot more effective.

Go ahead and try it. Find the exercise you like, see where you can fit in a few minutes and keep it going. I’m not trying to get you to lose weight or tone up like a fitness model. The aim here is to make everyday movements less strenuous and decrease some medical bills.

There’s a lot more to fitness than this. I recommend checking out some other posts and letting me know if you have something specific you’d like to know more about.

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